The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing Is a Way of Thinking

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The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing Is a Way of Thinking

Book Format: Choose an option. Add to Cart. Product Highlights About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. I start at the top or in the middle of the page and whatever happens, happens.

I keep vague notes but fundamentally I believe it's very important for a story to find its own structure rather than the other way around — it's the central tenet of Louis Sullivan's architectural theory his word, not mine and I've found it to be true — really the only way to find the "shape of life" in an honest, awkward way that feels and hopefully is human.


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Our minds are already very organized things; the trick, I think, is simply to trust them. A lot of it is so poignent and sad, it often makes me wonder if you've had quite a hard life. PS I anticipate there will be a lot of fawning on this thread but I'd just like to say I think you're wonderful. I've lived a very lucky life, not hard at all. Certainly there has been some difficult stuff — illness, death, disappointment, heartbreak — but nothing most everyone else hasn't experienced.

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The truth is that life is sad, for lack of a better word, but it's also something else: a sensation we rarely feel because as adults we spend most of out time and effort trying to figure out how to dull and tamp down: it's sort of a combination of tenderness, empathy, vulnerability and anger. We probably feel this most intensely as children and especially as adolescents, but the sensation is still always there humming underneath everything, and in moments of extreme emotion comes to the fore; these are the times as adults when we feel "life" most deeply.

The film "Tokyo Story" by Yasujiro Ozu captures and sustains this feeling beautifully of any artwork I can think of. I don't want to bum anyone out, though. I just want to highlight this feeling — to produce a sense of what life feels like more than anything else. Uh, in about an hour and a half, just as soon as I'm done with this. Sorry to depress you; that's not my aim, genuinely. Given that your work often features the potential for detachment and coldness in excessive use of technology, and an obvious warmth towards the more traditional, what was the thinking behind 'Touch Sensitive' being Ipad only?

Apologies; as the above person mentions [ undeletedscenes ], it was designed as a six-page strip and appears in the finished "Building Stories. I prefer the print version, myself. Also, I have no preference for any operating system; it was because it was indeed through McSweeney's. I think Steve Jobs should be credited with reinventing the universal gesture for "trying to remember something" from looking above one's head to fumbling in one's pocket.

What are your favourite non-graphic fictions novels, I suppose Have you ever been tempted to write anything sans pictures, or are the narratives mostly an excuse to do a lot of drawing? I've sort of tried writing "words only" but the experience is always like skating on oiled glass; I never know where I am, and I can't figure out how to stop sliding. There's something unique and strange about writing with images which compels me to continue.

Besides, Nabokov himself noted we thought not only in words, but also in pictures. I like the dumb, flat disposability of comics; they allow for a more direct experience with a reader, if not an admittedly uneconomical one, work-to-reading-time-wise. But that's my problem, not the reader's. Are there young comics writers whose work you feel is pushing the boundaries of the medium in the way yours does?

Would you consider a shorter, self-contained graphic novel? Very much so; there are more great cartoonists working now than ever before, and just in the past year, more genuinely thoughtful and literary — for lack of a better word — graphic novels than in a long time: Miriam Katin, Kim Deitch, Rutu Modan, Ben Katchor, Gary Panter, Seth and Gilbert Hernandez all have new books, and I hear Adrian Tomine's new comic is great, but I haven't seen it yet.

As for experimental younger artists, I'm amazed by Dash Shaw, if he's still considered young. The UK's own NoBrow publishes books which are almost all universally astounding and humbling to me; Jon McNaught's new book is very quiet and subtle. Then there are all the newest cartoonists that at this point I almost can't even keep track of, which is great; everyone seems to be making everyone try harder, which is as it should be.

Cartooning is a very living language.

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It's not dead, unlike what some of my painting teachers were telling me painting was twenty years ago. As for your second question, I've been working on another graphic novel for at least as long as "Building Stories" and an serializing it as I finish in my hardcover periodical "The ACME Novelty Library. As I mentioned above, comics are a quick read, but not quick work, sadly. First of all: Thank you.

Secondly: I find lots to admire in the artwork of a lot of graphic novelists but only occasionally find graphic novels that really justify their place amongst great literature; books whose form is truly the best way to tell that story. What are the graphic works that you really admire and what is it about them that makes them great in your eyes? Thirdly: Thanks again.

Thank you, as well. And I agree with you. Comics are still in their late adolescence I think just emerged from it so the pantheon of genuine literature is small, but it's there. I've edited two anthologies McSweeney's and Best American Comics which force my taste on the reader more than I should be allowed to, but as far as books go I think most about Art Spiegelman's "Maus" as an example of concentrated effort, intelligence and invention — and beyond that there are so many I just can't list them or play favorites.

As cartoonists, we're all still pretty much alive and very sensitive people, and I'd hate to leave anyone out. Jimmy Corrigan has my grandfather's hair, Charlie Brown's eyes, Tintin's pants and my self-doubt and that's about it, I'm afraid. Graphic artists and designers tend to be inspired by the productive outputs of peers and mentors rather than the personalities behind them.

Knowing the trials and tribulations of the person behind the art is as much help to aspiring artists as the work itself. Are you happy to share your own personal perspectives with emerging talent? Or would you prefer to remain private? Well, I'm doing this interview, and I just spent the last three weeks answering mail that went back to , so I do try to not be a jerk when someone asks me for advice or sends me their work, but having my daughter sort of lessened the time I have for such things.

I also try to be as honest as I possibly can with anyone who puts themselves through the rigamarole of trying to do this stuff.

Chris Ware Monograph

I was miserable myself for years and I know it's no fun to learn how to do and there's very little to encourage one for the solitude and doubt it can engender. The personalities of my peers are certainly an influence, as well; there are mean and self-centered people in every profession just as there are extremely generous ones, and it's curious and useful to see how the work and the person line up, and how they choose to appear and describe themselves.

Don't you ever hanker after comics' rather illicit, primitivist and disrespectable reputation, the misregistered two colour on newsprint rather than the high production values and the book as fetishistic object?

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Any cartoonist loves this awkward aspect of his or her craft; it's almost always what drew us in to becoming cartoonists to being with. More pointedly, I come to prefer clarity over illegilbity, except in regards to storytelling. I spent a couple of years in high school trying to fog my perceptions and found it pretty unhelpful. Chris I'd love to hear a little about your friendship with Charles Burns and any similarities or differences you see between your work. What if anything about his work has influenced yours? For my part he's the only contemporary cartoonist whose work deserves the same superlatives as your own though frankly I think he's the more complete storyteller.

Many thanks for hours of great pleasure reading your books. Charles is unquestionably one of the greatest cartoonists who's ever lived, both technically and humanely. This book is an intectual commentary upon Chir Ware's art. When eggheads are compelled to comment upon a great artist like Ware's works it's going to come out like crap. These people should just kick back, smoke a joint, and keep their opinions to themselves.

There's some good Ware artwork, but so what? I've got all of Ware's work, and this is the least important. Go to Amazon. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping.

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